SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 24, June 14, 2012

Racing News: AIM Autosport FXDD Racing With Ferrari Maintains Lead in Sixth Race of the Grand AM Series

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  AIM Autosport FXDD Racing With Ferrari held on to their first-place lead in the Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

AIM Autosport FXDD Racing With Ferrari Maintains Lead in Sixth Race of the Grand AM Series
AIM Autosport FXDD Racing With Ferrari held on to their first-place lead in the Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Team and Driver Championship Standings after taking second place in the EMCO Gears classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Team AIM Autosport FXDD is now heading the series with 185 points.

On the 25th lap, AIM Autosport's FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Emil Assentato was hit from behind by the trailing DP car—losing three positions after starting the race in sixth. On the 29th lap, Assentato passed the Audi R8 of Jim Norman. By lap 41, Assentato moved the team up to second place.

After a fuel and tire change, co-racer Jeff Segal took over keeping pace in sixth position. Segal moved the team up again, passing the Porsches of Leh Keen and Andy Lally, taking fifth place. With 30 minutes remaining, Segal moved the car up to second, trailing Bill Auberlen's BMW. Segal finished the race in second place following Auberlen's lead.

The team will race again June 23 at the Road America track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where they will compete again to keep their 11-point first-place lead in the series.

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Competitive Metals-sponsored drivers Geoffrey Cooley and Dave Mason Jr. covered the first and second positions at last Saturday's Lucas Oil Off Road Regional Race event.

 

 

Team Competitive Dominates Pro Buggy Shootout
Rookie drivers Geoffrey Cooley and Dave Mason Jr. entered last Saturday's Lucas Oil Off Road Regional Race event at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park to gain seat time and further testing on their Alumi Craft race cars prior to the next rounds of racing in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing National series. The pair of Competitive Metals-sponsored drivers covered the first and second positions. Mason Jr. had the fastest qualifying time of the event. Cooley and Mason gave the fans a great show as they battled lap after lap with Cooley coming out on top.

Cooley and Mason are now in preparation for Rounds 7 and 8 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, set to take place on June 23–24. Cooley enters the event with nearly all top-five finishes this year. He's currently third in the championship points and just 21 points behind leader Steven Greinke. Mason Jr. is currently 16th in the point's championship, but will look towards the podium after making some major changes to his car setup and engine package.

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  Stevan McAleer leads the eventual top-four finishers at Mid-Ohio.
Photo: Ken Hawking

McAleer Recovers for Action Packed MX-5 Cup Win at Mid-Ohio
Stevan McAleer recovered from a first lap off-course excursion to win his second SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup race of the season last Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, crossing the finish line ahead of John Dean of Sebring, Florida, and Nathan Sparks of Spanish Fort, Alabama.

The Putnam Valley, New York, resident and Scotland native started on the pole in the No. 28 Numberix/Blue Mercury Capital/CJ Wilson Children’s Charities MX-5 and led the field from the standing start to the Keyhole, Mid-Ohio’s Turn 2. Going into the corner, Dean’s No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways Mazda MX-5 made contact with McAleer and sent him off the track.

McAleer rejoined the race in ninth position, and steadily moved through the field. On lap three, he was at the tail end of a seven-car train in the battle for the lead. He got the lead on the 23rd lap of 27 in the 45-minute timed race, and held the lead to the finish.

Dean was one of four different drivers who officially led at least one lap during a race that saw a front-running train of up to seven cars. Dean’s teammate, Christian Szymczak, led the opening five laps and all but one of the first 13 in the No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5, with Dean Copeland leading lap six and laps 14-18.

Copeland’s shot at a win ended when, on lap 23, Dean reached for his brakes going into Turn 2 but slid into the back of Copeland’s No. 7 Sync Speed/Copeland Motorsports machine, moving him off course and out of contention. Copeland recovered for a seventh-place finish, but couldn’t rejoin the lead battle. Dean was assessed a 40-point penalty and a $500 fine by race officials for the contact.

Despite the contact, Dean led lap 16 on his way to his fourth podium finish of the season, chasing McAleer over the closing laps but unable to make a lead stick.

Sparks ran in the lead pack during all 45-minutes in his No. 3 OOTSK Performance MX-5, battling over the final laps for the third podium spot with Jeff Mosing’s No. 12 Frank’s International/Race Now For Autism MX-5. The two ran side-by-side through the Mid-Ohio “esses” in the final turn, with Sparks coming away with his first podium finish.

Szymczak finished the race in fifth. Ara Malkhassian, who was just outside the lead pack for most of the race, came away with a sixth-place after Elliott Skeer spun his No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco MX-5 at the end of the backstraight on lap seven.

Alex Ratcliffe (No. 07 SyncSpeed/Copeland Motorsports MX-5), Brandon Kidd (No. 29 ModSpace Motorsports/CJ Wilson Racing MX-5), and Tim Probert (No. 26 ALARA Racing/ALARA Garage MX-5) round out the top 10 in a race where all but Skeer, who spun, finished on the lead lap.

Zachry Lee of San Antonio, Texas, won the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Series class in the No. 62 Alpha Motorsports/B+ Foundation MX-5, followed by Phil Mather (No. 95 CG-Lock/Seat Snug MX-5 and Bryan Hixon’s No. 63 Seven Devils Lodge/Tequila Me MX-5.

With the win and Dean’s penalty, McAleer takes over the Championship lead with a 20-point advantage over Szymczak, 276-256. Malkhassian is third with 250, followed by Dean (245) and Sparks (237).

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